Appeal rights

PSS members can appeal against a decision made by Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (trustee of PSS) or by its delegate or an authorised person.

You are entitled to request Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation to reconsider a decision it, or its delegates or authorised persons, have made. In the administration of PSS, the main classes of decisions made are those regarding:

  • invalidity retirement;
  • payment of pre-assessment payments;
  • recognition of prior service; and
  • eligibility of dependants.

Your request must be in writing and, if you are disputing a decision of Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (as opposed to a decision made by a delegate or an authorised person), you must specify the grounds on which you are appealing and provide new evidence to support your case. Unless you provide evidence or material that Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation hasn’t earlier considered, your request will not be accepted.

If you are appealing against a delegate’s decision or an authorised person’s decision, you do not have to provide new evidence or pay any fee. It is still necessary, however, to set out in writing the grounds on which you are appealing the decision which you wish to have reconsidered. A fee of $150 has been set by Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation in respect of the reconsideration of its decisions. The fee will be refunded if your request is not accepted for investigation or the reconsideration results in the overturning of Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation’s decision.

Once an application is accepted, preliminary investigations will normally be carried out by ComSuper. In invalidity retirement cases, such investigations might include seeking additional reports from doctors involved in the case and, where applicable, obtaining a further recommendation from the invalidity assessment panel.

When all information is in hand, details will be referred to a Reconsideration Advisory Committee who will make a recommendation to Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation. You will be notified of its decision and the reason for it.

A further appeal can subsequently be accepted by Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation if it is satisfied that new evidence has been presented which they have not previously examined. Alternatively, if you are dissatisfied with Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation’s decision on reconsideration, an appeal (complaint) under the Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993 can be made to the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT).

The SCT can be contacted by phone on 1300 884 114 and their mail address is:

Superannuation Complaints Tribunal
Locked Bag 3060
Melbourne VIC 3001
Fax: 03 8635 5588

Time limits apply in relation to making a complaint to the SCT. Details of these time limits can be obtained by contacting the SCT or by referring to the ‘Making a Complaint’ section of the SCT website


Appeal against a decision made by the Commissioner or a delegate

Certain decisions under PSS taken before 1 July 1994 by the Commissioner for Superannuation or a delegate do fall outside the jurisdiction of Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation as trustee of PSS.

You should check with ComSuper before lodging a request for reconsideration of such a decision. No fee is payable, but you must set out the reasons for the request in writing.

If you are still unhappy with the outcome on reconsideration of such a decision, you can appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). A further avenue for redress of a decision made by the Commissioner for Superannuation and confirmed by the AAT is the Federal Court of Australia, but only on questions of law.